In the first blog on communication we looked at how our words have power to build up and tear down; that they can bring life and communicate righteousness or cause hurt and pain. In the second part, we are going to look at how our actions and words fit together.
2) Connecting words and actions
We see that it is important that our words are followed by action:
If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? (James 2:15-16)
And that words and actions are connected:
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice. The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip. (Psalms 37:30-31)
In light of this, we are warned against making promises that we cannot keep. Rather than making promises, we should say we can or can’t and then be sure to follow through according to our word:
But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. (James 5:12)
Paul talks in Colossians about partnering loving action with gracious speech in evangelism – that we are to be gracious and not judgemental or hard – and that we are called to spread the Good News that we have heard (communicate it, not keep it to ourselves):
At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:2-6)
Is there something that you’ve said you would do and have not yet done? Maybe it was to mow the lawn or visit a friend with limited access to transport. Take a moment to write this in to your weekly planner.
Is there a promise you made rashly and did not live out? Can you get in touch with the person this week and apologise for your hasty vow?